Launch Your Career as a

Professional Natural Chef

Become a Natural Chef
Get the training you need to become highly skilled in culinary arts to serve your clients with fresh, nutrient-dense, delicious foods with sustainable practices through Bauman College’s Natural Chef Program.

3.5-Month Natural Chef Program in Berkeley, CA

The Natural Chef Program at Bauman College uniquely combines culinary technique and a nutrition-based philosophy with the entrepreneurial skills needed to build a career in service of others through food. Upon graduation, students can become personal chefs, private chefs, meal-delivery chefs, or dinner-party caterers to offer customized, healthful, and delicious food to their clients. 

In case you’re wondering:  What exactly is a “personal chef” or “private chef”? Click to learn more here.

Our distinctive program blends classic culinary school with Bauman College’s non-dogmatic approach to wholesome eating. Students learn how to meet their clients’ needs by crafting meals based on their unique lifestyles, tastes, and dietary requirements, all the while creating delicious food by considering the importance of flavor, texture, and visual appeal.

Our curriculum includes instruction on specialty diets and various circumstances, whether cooking for postpartum parents or athletes, teenagers or older adults, or vegan or paleo diets. Students become proficient in utilizing alternative and whole-food ingredients, and learn the importance of organic and sustainable sourcing of food, reducing food waste, and making healthy food attainable for all. 

A strength of our program is the inclusion of the business skills and day-to-day operations needed to succeed as a personal chef, both taught in our classroom entrepreneurship curriculum and throughout our culinary classes. While traditional culinary schools train almost entirely for restaurant work, we train personal chefs to provide the opportunity for a culinary career with better pay, better hours, and a healthier approach to feeding people. 


The Natural Chef Program at Bauman College is comprised of three sections:

  • Culinary Foundations trains students in knife skills, culinary techniques, the proper use of equipment, and baking. This section also includes approaches to preparing nutrient-dense and whole foods, as well as exposure to international flavors, in order to add interest and variety to food preparation. 
  • Cooking For Your Client focuses on practical skills for personal chefs. Students learn to optimize efficiency, flexibility, and adaptability in the kitchen and in cooking for individual needs. This section covers a wide variety of food needs and specialty diets, so that students are prepared to offer their clients the types of food that fit them best. They also learn about fundamental principles of holistic nutrition as they relate to food preparation. 
  • Personal Chef Entrepreneurship is held one day per week in the classroom, and is comprised of two components: 
    • How to build a business as a personal chef or find employment, including writing a business plan, building a website, getting insurance, or finding a job.
    • Day-to-day operations of working as a personal chef, including menu planning, customer service, grocery shopping, and packaging.

Click the button below for more detailed information about the Natural Chef curriculum.

Natural Chef Career-Oriented Features

In addition to the main curriculum, the Natural Chef Program offers resources and educational experiences which are directly beneficial to working as a personal chef, private chef, meal-delivery chef, or dinner-party caterer.

  • ServSafe® certification: Students receive their ServSafe® Food Handler certificates in kitchen safety and sanitation. This certificate is an asset to chefs working in people’s homes, to reassure clients that the chef is knowledgeable and competent in the best practices of food safety. 
  • Modernmeal: Students receive access to our Bauman College recipe database on the Modernmeal platform. They learn how to use Modernmeal to create menus and shopping lists for clients and to connect with other culinary students and professionals. 
  • Culinary Showcase: The class works as a team to create a dinner party for friends and family. The students create the theme and menu, set up the room, prepare the food, and serve the meal.
  • Culinary Externship: Students are required to complete 50 hours of culinary fieldwork in order to become certified natural chefs. Students choose to work alongside personal chefs, private chefs, meal-delivery chefs, or dinner-party caterers to gain confidence while getting real-world, practical experience working in the culinary arts industry.
Natural Chef Professional Skills
Everything about the Natural Chef program at Bauman College prepared me for this work. I learned culinary techniques and foundational recipes, as well as basic nutrition information and how to source high quality ingredients. Additionally, I learned about dietary restrictions, food allergies, and how to cook using substitutions when working with restrictions. Every personal chef client I have had, is looking for a chef with this knowledge. I have found that if someone is choosing a chef over restaurant food or take-out, it is because they either want healthy organic food or have dietary restrictions.
Claire M., Bauman College graduate - Natural Chef Program

Is a Rewarding Career as a Natural Chef Right for You?

  • See the FAQ’s on the Natural Chef program here.
  • Get more detail on the Natural Chef program from our 2020 Catalog.
  • To receive more information, please complete this form. A knowledgeable and courteous member of our Bauman College admissions team will contact you to answer your questions, from program details to career opportunities, and will assist you in finding the ideal career path option for you.

If you are ready to apply to our Natural Chef program, click the button below to get started.

Berkeley Kitchen Open House on Thursday, Feb. 20th

We invite you to visit our professional, state-of-the-art Kitchen in
Berkeley, CA this Thursday evening, 2/20, beginning at 6 p.m.

You will have the chance to meet some of Berkeley-based culinary team, take a tour of our facility and kitchen, and learn more about the Bauman College Natural Chef program. Bauman College Natural Chef students are trained on how to prepare fresh, nutrient-rich, appetizing foods using sustainable practices.

After the program presentation and tour, there will also be a food demo with a delicious offering of Indian-Spiced Socca with Cilantro, Mint, and Coconut Chutney on the menu.

Bring any questions you may have about the vocational program, or about working as a personal or private chef, meal-delivery chef, or dinner-party caterer. The event will conclude with a raffle for all attendees, so you may just leave with a special gift as well!

If you’re ready to move forward on your path to becoming a personal or private chef, this is a great opportunity to see for yourself where we train students in our Natural Chef program.

Email us at to RSVP for this open house event. All who respond will receive a confirmation email with our Berkeley address for the event. We hope to see this Thursday evening!

Join us in Berkeley on 2/20 for an open house and kitchen tour!